It is creatively inspired, takes into consideration the history and authenticity of our site and is enthusiastically used by all.
Landscaping and reconstruction took place during the summer in 2021 and continued until October 2021. The children watched in wonder while various machines pulled, pushed and dug. Teachers used the opportunity and made links in their lessons: forces, pullies, levers and measuring, to name a few. In October we held the grand opening of our playground. The children were amazed and grateful for all the new options for playing and exploring.
We now have two climbing frames, both encouraging interaction: the original larger frame with a swing and a smaller one with the focus more on balance and games. Our sporty children are thankful to have a cleared football pitch as well as a more stable basketball hoop where many have basket shoot-offs and dribble rallies. We have a mud kitchen fully equipped with water faucets, pots and cutlery, which the children adore. Upon visiting, be prepared to join on eating a mud cake or two. While walking past, one is able to hear concerns about how too much flour led to a very dry pie mixture in an overflowing pot, or the questioning of how much water is needed for a soup. Children are chatting and questioning organically, and solving problems while taking on the roles of cooking in a kitchen.
Our sandpit saw a grand upgrade in the form of a large wooden basin with water running down a timber handle, taking the form of a grape-crushing trough with a churning handle. This was chosen to pay homage to the history of our school site, which was once a working farm with a vineyard where wine was produced in the barn – now our supervision room and library. With sand all around, the children can enjoy sand and wood play.
Teachers also take advantage of our horseshoe seated area, shaded by our striking chestnut trees. Lessons are brought outside, creating varied learning areas and stimuli for the children. It’s also a wonderful place for children to chat and some even like to read there, leaning up against the great chestnut trunk.
The children also played a big part in putting the finishing touches to the playground by helping the gardeners plant the trees and bushes. Every child in the school helped to clear, dig, plant or cover the new additions to the playground. This aspect of the development brought additional joy and learning, as the trees and plants around the playground provide a multitude of greenery and continue to change with each passing day. We are very excited to see further changes as spring brings blooming buds and abundant colours.
Our generous playground space with our many play opportunities provide natural stimuli for social interactions and strengthens social learning in an organic way. Along with providing fun activities during break time, the differing areas encourage imagination and creativity whilst enhancing communication skills, and allow for physical development. It’s difficult for the children to choose a favourite area. They are very proud of their playground. This is what some have to say about it:
"I like the new back part because we can learn and climb there and do so many new things." Sloan, Kindergarten 2
"We like that there are so many plants and trees here. It makes you feel like you're in the middle of nature or kind of in the forest." Olivia, Lilly and Winona, Year 4
"It's much better to play football here. I also like the slackline." Luis, Year 4
Miranda Dominguez Stead, Head of Kindergarten and Primary School